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Mobile Is the Message

(June 2010) posted on Mon May 24, 2010

Mobile tagging is an emerging solution that you can use to help your customers develop their brands and enable them to create a rich and robust experience for their end users.

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By Ben P. Rosenfield

Imagine printing an outdoor sign, P-O-P display, or product package that creates an interactive experience for those who view it and delivers additional content on demand—content that is portable and easy to share with friends. Mobile tagging is a technology platform that can give these and many other types of printed graphics a voice and facilitate meaningful dialog between information-hungry consumers and retailers, manufacturers, customer-service operations, and more.

Screen Printing recently discussed this technology with Stephen Shannon, chief marketing officer and president of enterprise media services for InnoMark Communications; and Dave Cottman, director of premedia and digital printing for InnoMark’s Concept Imaging Group Division.

What is a mobile tag, and why did you select the Microsoft Tag format instead of the many others in use?

Dave Cottman The Microsoft Tag is a type of two-dimensional bar code—a high-color-contrast bar code (HCCB), basically. The reason we selected this over the QR-Code and others is because you can take the size from 0.75 in. all the way up to 120 in., and because you can take a shot of it with your cell-phone camera and it can be out of focus and still actually work and activate the interactive part of the bar code. With the QR-Code, it’s all based on pixel data. If you have blurriness with a QR-Code, a lot of times the QR-Code will not read. There are many cell phones, smart phones, that use camera systems that aren’t up to spec.

For example, we prototyped on static cling. The static cling through glass would not read properly with the QR-Code. With the HCCB, it read every time. You can also be at a slight angle with the tag and it reads. Besides that, QR-Codes and others are black and white. You cannot colorize those. With the Microsoft Tag, you can colorize it and you can brand it to fit the brand’s needs, so you can have logos and create color schemes (Figure 1). It makes packaging materials and signage a lot more attractive to the consumer. Also, being able to take that up to 120 in., a passenger—not the driver in the car, mind you—can actually take a picture of that tag and interact electronically with a billboard.


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